Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The 14th Colony

by Steve Berry
450 pgs  (Cotton Malone series #11)

Steve Berry has repeatedly demonstrated his unique knack for finding obscure and seemingly inconsequential aspects of our country's history, and then letting it come to light in modern times with potentially world-changing consequences. In this latest installment he shines a light on the 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the surprising flaw it contains.

As the book begins, President Daniel's presidency is days away from ending and his successor is preparing to begin his. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution calls for the exiting President and Vice-President's terms to end at precisely noon on January 20th following the election. Usually the President and Vice-president-elect take their oaths of office within a few minutes of that time. But what happens if both were to die during that short window of time? Who would become the rightful President? It's not as clearly laid out as most would expect.

Aleksandr Zorin is an ex-KGB officer with a personal vendetta against the United States. He's gained access to a small nuclear bomb left over from the Cold War, and if he's not stopped in time, he'll use that bomb to cause a level of chaos in the United States that has never been experienced before. Of course it's up to Cotton Malone and the usual cast of supporting characters to make sure that doesn't happen.

Berry's books are always fun and entertaining. This one was a little heavy on the history, and a little too light on the excitement and and fun that I've come to expect from the Malone series. But overall, it's an enjoyable book and worth the read.


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